Coffee Creams or 'Koffie Koekies', as they are called in Afrikaans, are coffee flavoured biscuits sandwiched with a fudge filling. They are traditional South African biscuits that every good 'boere vrou' (farmers wife) knows how to make. My mother used to make these every year over Christmas in an industrial sized batch to see her through the season's gatherings. I tried to find the origin of these biscuits but didn't have much luck. Only one of my friends from the Free State had heard of them, she said they called them 'crocodile biscuits'. A very descriptive name as the biscuits resemble a crocodiles back remarkably closely. This is due to the way the biscuits are made. The soft dough is put through an old fashioned meat grinder with a cookie attachment which gives the biscuits the lovely ridges and texture like the crocodiles back. One person turns the meat grinder by hand, while the other person catches the dough. A laborious two person job.
I don't have an old fashioned meat grinder or an extra pair of hands, so I roll the dough out, cut them in little rectangles about 5cm long and give them a stroke with a fork to give them texture. If you find making the fudge filling too fiddly, you can sandwich the biscuits together with apricot jam.
When you open a tin of these biscuits the most delicious coffee/caramel smell comes wafting out. They beat any store bought biscuit hands down. They remain one of my very favourite biscuits. Ever.
1 kg cake flour
5 ml salt
330 ml demerara sugar
400 g butter
250 ml golden syrup
15 ml bicarbonate of soda
125 ml very strong black coffee (you can use instant coffee such as Nescafe, but use at least 6 teaspoons)
5 ml vanilla essence
375 ml white sugar
50 g butter or margarine
125ml double thick cream
5 ml vanilla
Sift the cake flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Add vanilla to cooled mixture.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in a little coffee. Add this mixture and the rest of the coffee, to the cooled butter and syrup mixture. Add to flour and knead well to form soft dough. Cover and leave for several hours or overnight.
Divide the dough into two balls, place the one in the fridge while you work with the other. Roll out thinly and cut the cookies into 5 cm rectangles. Take a fork and scrap the top of the dough, to give it texture. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake at 200 ºC for 10 - 12 minutes until golden brown and baked through. Cool the biscuits on wire racks.
To make the filling, put all the filling ingredients, except the vanilla, into a pan and slowly bring to a boil. Make certain the sugar has dissolved before the mixture boils. Boil for 8 minutes, uncovered. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn. Remove from the stove, and beat with a wooden spoon until thick and cooled.
Sandwich the biscuits together with the fudge filling or apricot jam.